GTMS Life > Blog December 23, 2021

Toddler ADM: December 2021

What a wild ride this school year has been but we finally made it to winter break! Thank you for your continued support and patience as we navigate this extraordinary school year. Thank you for voting in the December door contest! Everyone in the building has enjoyed looking at our door trying to find each […]

What a wild ride this school year has been but we finally made it to winter break! Thank you for your continued support and patience as we navigate this extraordinary school year.

Thank you for voting in the December door contest! Everyone in the building has enjoyed looking at our door trying to find each child and teacher from Toddler ADM.

This month in TADM

With the holiday season upon us, there has definitely been a buzz of energy in the room so we have been taking time to do some yoga and mindful breathing together. A strategy that we use quite often to help the children calm down, in the midst of feeling BIG emotions, is to take some deep belly breaths. Often the children will close their eyes, then we say “Breathe in through your nose, then blow out your birthday candle” (hold up a finger as the candle, this also helps to direct the child’s focus).

Simone Davies, of The Montessori Toddler says, “Toddlers are naturally curious, they are impulsive, and they are servants to their will.” Many times we as adults think, Why won’t they listen to me? We end up nagging and the child stops listening to us altogether. It is important to remember toddlers need way more time to think and process information coming in before they act. After giving a child a direction, try mentally counting to 8 before repeating, most of the time the child will begin to start the task as you are still counting. If you do need to repeat, try to simplify the task into as few words as possible. For example, after asking a child to put their shoes on, because it’s time to leave the house, they seem to be distracted and are still not engaging in task. You may simply redirect child’s focus by pointing and saying, ‘Shoes.’

Remember, when we are challenged by the child, we can see it as a teaching opportunity for us and a learning opportunity for them. So in order to cultivate cooperation with toddlers, we need a foundation of connection and trust. This involves:

  • Problem solving with our toddler
  • Involving the child (see below for some holiday ideas over break or have child help complete tasks around the house)
  • Talking in a way that helps them listen (keep it simple)
  • Managing our expectations

Holdiay fun in TADM

Music Appreciation

This month one of the songs on our Language shelf had to be Jingle Bells. At one point a small group wanted to play some of our instruments so together we rang bells and other percussion instruments while singing Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

The children also enjoyed listening to the Nutcracker ballet. We listened to snippets of each song talking about whether the song was fast or slow and loud or soft. Each new song I introduced the children were wide-eyed and silent so curious and engaged in listening to the variety of instruments being played. They then were able to look at our song board book throught our afternoon work cycle.

Applesauce

We were inspired by the book I Have a Little Dreidel by Maxie Baum to cook our own applesauce this year!

I prepared the apples by washing, peeling and coring before cutting them in half. The children used a crinkle cutter to cut them into small pieces before adding to the crock pot. Everyone loved getting a chance to smell the spices before they were added to the ingredients. We cooked it on high for about 4 hours but it can also be cooked on low for 6 hours. Make sure to check about half way through to stir. Once apples are softened use a fork or potato masher to turn it into applesauce. We got to try ours one day after afternoon recess and majority of them loved it, some even asked for seconds, one friend, however, told us, “It’s not my favorite,” to which we responded, “That’s ok, thank you for trying it. You may clean up.”

  • 14 of your favorite apples. Mix up the varieties to get a unique taste, some suggestions are Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious, and Gala
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Reindeer Chow

This was an opportunity to discuss how we use a recipe to know what type of equipment we will be using and the ingredients we will need to create a special treat. During afternoon circle, each child took a turn pouring in an ingredient to create a trail mix. Once away from the children, I melted the chocolate, folded it into the ingredients, then poured it out on a cookie sheet to set. Below I have included what you will need in case you want to recreate it with your family over the break. You may choose to get creative using other ingredients like popcorn, peanuts, etc.

  • You will need a large mixing bowl, spatula, a measuring cup and a cookie sheet.
  • 3 cups Rice Chex 
  • 3 cups Corn Chex
  • 3 cups Cheerios
  • 3 cups pretzel sticks
  • 16 oz package of M&M’s (preferably red and green)
  • 3- 12 oz. bags of white chocolate chips *You may choose to melt chocolate over a double boiler or use a microwave, making sure to stir in 15-30 second intervals.

Important dates:

Dec 23-31 Winter Break; All GTMS closed

Jan 3 Classes resume

Jan 6 Early dismissal @ 5:00 pm; Professional Development for ADM teachers

Jan 17 All GTMS closed; Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday

Happy Holidays from all the teachers in Toddler ADM! Please enjoy these pictures of your children hard at work throughout the month of December.

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